The day after we found out you were on the way, we announced it to the whole world. They say you should wait a few weeks, but I absolutely could not contain myself. I remember what I wore that day. I remember it was your cousin's birthday. I remember like it was yesterday. But it was more than six years ago now.
A few months later, the doctors ran what I thought was a routine test. But it turned out to be a torture device, breeding anxiety like I'd never experienced before. The test thought you might've had spina bifida.
Now, let me give you some counsel, child, for when you're a mother yourself: Never, never, never research a medical condition your child may have. It's like taking an Anti-Prozac pill, like trying to kill a fly with a machine gun, like taking your already-cracked heart and driving a semi over it.
I Googled it, and I was paralyzed with fear. Tears kept falling, but I didn't notice 'til they blurred the papers I was grading. At the time, I worked with a group of godly women who lifted me up and cried tears right there with me. They believed and knew you were fine.
They believed for me when I could not.
That ultrasound was the first time I got to see your hands, your feet, your little nose. (It looked then, like now, just like mine.) You modestly hid your gender, but you did show off a most miraculously perfect spine. Never had I seen a more beautiful curve.
The test was wrong.
And sometimes tests are, little one. Sometimes tests pick up something and name it wrong. Even cute toys cast scary shadows, right?
But tests don't have to paralyze us. We can be brave for them - all the tests in all their forms. (There are more than just blood tests in life, baby girl.) And the thing that makes us brave is this:
Tests don't know the whole story. And they don't get to tell it.
You see, when you live through the test, you're the one who tells the story.
And telling your story, child, having the power to speak it yourself - that was a hard-won privilege.
So don't be afraid to tell it - when the test is raging and long after it's over. Nobody else could tell it the way you could, anyway.
Getting ready to tell some stories,